The Blantyre City Council (BCC) has given people residing in the city’s hills 60 days ultimatum to destroy the structures built on the hills.
The council says it is illegal to build houses on Soche, Bangwe, Ndirande and Mpingwe Hills and it has been advising people who encroached the hills to relocate to other places.
In 2013, BCC officials descended on Soche Hill and demolished houses and other structures in an operation which was followed by an injunction obtained by one of the illegal residents stopping the council from continuing with the demolition exercise.
However, since then people have been flocking to the hill and other hills in the city a development which has forced the authorities to take another step.
According to the council’s chief executive officer Alfred Chanza, people living in all the hills in the city are doing it out of their will and at their own risk hence the order for them to secure safer places.
“You are hereby informed that the structures that you built on and around Soche, Bangwe, Ndirande and Mpingwe Hills were developed by you without the grant of development permission and in contravention of the Forestry Act.
“You are required to demolish the said structures within a period of 60 (sixty) days from the date of this notice (18 January 2018) or such extended period as the Blantyre City Council may in writing allow,” said Chanza in a notice.
The CEO said failure to comply with the notice within the period prescribed may cause the council with all necessary workmen and other officers, to enter or authorize any other person to enter the land and take all such necessary action in respect of the council.
The government set aside land in Lunzu and Machinjiri where people residing in these hills are to be relocated but the encroachers refuse to leave the hills.